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Upcoming Town Meetings

Greensboro’s Town Meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 10:00 AM. For information on seats up for election at this year’s meeting, as well as town committees looking for appointees, visit https://www.greensborovt.org .

The annual meeting of the Lakeview Union School District will be Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 7:00 PM in the Lakeview Union School Multipurpose Room.  Budget information is available here:

https://lakeviewschoolboard.ossu.org

 

Annual town and school reports are currently at the printer.  We will provide more details and links to relevant documents for these important annual meetings as they become available.

Children’s Summer Camps: Lots of Options!

Children’s Summer Camps: Registration Open for The Art House /Wonder & Wisdom Summer Journeys Camps, Circus Smirkus, and Hosmer Point Saplings Day Camp and Traditional Overnight Camps

 

The Art House in Craftsbury has teamed up with Wonder & Wisdom of Greensboro to diversify and expand their 2017 summer camp offerings for children.  Registration information is available here:

https://wonderwisdom.org/summer-journeys/

Hosmer Point is a traditional summer camp located in Craftsbury on Big Hosmer Pond.  They offer both sleep-away and day camps, sculling camps for children ages 12-15, and two sessions of Little Bellas Mountain Biking Camp, which is a program for girls ages 11-15.  Some camps fill quickly, and registration is currently open here:

https://www.hosmerpoint.com/camps/camp-dates-for-2017/

Circus Smirkus Camp still has openings for several of its sessions, including BIG KID CAMP!  Have you ever wanted to run away to the circus?  Now is your chance to learn some of the skills younger campers develop and still have down time to experience all the other great things Greensboro has to offer.  Big Kid Camp is for adults age 21 and up and runs from August 20th to the 27th.

Registration info here:

https://www.smirkus.org/smirkus-camp/camp-sessions/

Sterling College School of the New American Farmstead 2017 Programs

Sterling College’s School of the New American Farmstead continues to offer a wide range of year-round continuing education opportunities.  This year you can discover your inner agrarian, teamster (working horses and cattle), weaver and basket maker, orchardist, bee keeper, brewer, baker, and much more. Information and registration is available here:

https://www.sterlingcollege.edu/school-of-the-new-american-farmstead/

Craftsbury Outdoor Center to Highland Lodge Shuttle

Interested in skiing from the Highland Lodge to Craftsbury but not interested in dealing with the logistics of leaving a car in two locations?  With great ski conditions now available this winter, the Craftsbury Outdoor Center has resumed its shuttle service from the Center to the Highland Lodge on weekends.  The shuttle leaves the Outdoor Center at 9:30 AM for the Lodge.  They do request a payment of $5 in the Activity Center to help cover the cost of running the shuttle.

For more information and to confirm that the shuttle will run on any given weekend (it really can change from week to week), check the Center’s website at

https://www.craftsbury.com/skiing/nordic-center/nordic-center-home/

Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation to Host Community Meeting About Great Hosmer Pond

 

The Great Hosmer Pond Task Force worked throughout 2016 to find solutions to reduce conflict on the waters of Great Hosmer between scullers and motor boaters.  As part of these conversations, it became clear that an exploration of whether a revision of the “Use of Public Water Rules” could help reduce conflict.

Members of the Watershed Management Division of the Vermont DEC will host a public meeting on this issue to gain additional input from the communities that use the pond as the DEC moves forward with the rule-making process.  The meeting will be this Saturday, January 21, at 10 AM at the Craftsbury Academy gymnasium.

While not in Greensboro, this process could possibly impact the uses of other lakes in our region.  We encourage those of you interested in issues surrounding the public use of state-owned water bodies to attend this meeting.

For more information about this issue and the rule-making process, please visit:

https://dec.vermont.gov/watershed/lakes-ponds/lakes-ponds/public-outreach-and-rulemaking

Vermont Land Trust announces Kehler land conservation in Greensboro

Greensboro — Brothers Andy and Mateo Kehler purchased 51 acres in Greenboro and conserved the land with the Vermont Land Trust as part of a broader effort to expand their cheese businesses at the Cellars at Jasper Hill.

Andy and Mateo started Jasper Hill Farm in 2003, milking 15 heifers in an old tie-stall barn. Thirteen years later, their small dairy has grown into a cheese-making phenomenon, with 85 employees, and millions of dollars in sales both nationally and internationally.

The farm has a herd of about 45 Ayrshire cows that graze the fields in warmer months.An onsite creamery produces Bayley Hazen Blue, Moses Sleeper and Winnimere cheeses from this herd, which is aged—along with cheese from herds on other Vermont dairies—at the state-of-the-art cheese caves built in 2008.

The caves, known as the Cellars at Jasper Hill, are currently at 70% capacity—something the brothers are trying to change.

To expand cheese production, Andy and Mateo bought two parcels of adjoining farmland on Country Club Road located on the edge of Greensboro village. The farmland will be home to a new herd and a state-of-the art cheese-making facility, which will produce cheeses that the brothers have been developing.

Andy and Mateo sold a conservation easement on the land to the Vermont Land Trust with funding from the Freeman Foundation, the Greensboro Conservation Fund, the Greensboro Land Trust and the Lookout Foundation.

“We are choosing to conserve [this land] to help fulfill our business mission of maintaining the working landscape,” said Andy Kehler. “This conservation project will maintain the opportunity for agriculture to exist as a central part of our community.

Andy and Mateo also conserved a portion of their main farm with the Vermont Land Trust back in 2008.

“An important piece of our work is to support a thriving farm economy,” remarked Tracy Zschau of the Vermont Land Trust. “Conserving farmland with Andy and Mateo, along with many other farmers in the Greensboro area has helped ensure there is productive land base to support farms now and in the future.”

Andy and Mateo see the new farm as a place that will allow more people to be trained in the art of high-quality cheese-making. The more artisan cheeses that are produced, the more cheese that can fill the Cellars.

There is still a lot of room for growth. If the caves were full, they would be ripening cheese from about 800 cows. This new farm will bring Andy and Mateo one step closer.

“As we as a culture become further removed from our food supply and agriculture,” remarked Andy, “we are excited to preserve the opportunity for agriculture, and dairy in particular, to be a visible and celebrated part of the activities that occur in the village.”

The conserved land has 40 acres of hayfields, all of which have prime agricultural soils. The rest of the property is wooded wetland, which will be permanently protected for water quality through restrictions in the conservation easement.

The project was the culmination of a three-farm conservation effort in Greensboro that was supported in part by the town’s conservation fund and the Greensboro Land Trust. The other two farms protected were the former Jaffin Farm on Jaffin Flats Road, owned by Shaun and Darren Hill and former Fontaine Farm on Taylor and Garvin Roads owned by Todd Hardie.

“The Town of Greensboro and the Greensboro Land Trust are grateful to the VLT for its initiative in helping return three one-time farm properties to agricultural use and ensuring that they remain in that use indefinitely,” remarked Clive Gray of the Greensboro Land Trust. “The Jasper Hill easement opens up the likelihood that Greensboro villagers will see dairy farming return next door after more than 70 years.”

 

The Kehlers contributed a portion of the easement value by selling the development rights for less than their full assessed value.

 

 

Town Plan is under revision and input is needed

A draft of the Town Plan revision is scheduled to be presented at the 2017 Town Meeting March 7.  

Town plans lay out a vision for the town for the future.  What should the zoning do? Should we consolidate schools? What about a new fire truck? How will we conserve wildlife? All of these and more are questions that can be answered in a Town Plan.   The current 2015 Town Plan is available here.

If you would like to provide input to the draft or participate in this highly important planning process, please contact Town Planning Commission at zoning@greensborovt.org.

DRB hearing on Ranz Barn application

An application has been resubmitted for a conditional use/variance for the historic Greensboro Barn owned by Jennifer Ranz.  The current application is for an Integrated Agriculture Conditional Use Permit. A hearing will be held on Wednesday, January 4 in the Collier Room of the Greensboro Town Hall at 7:00 PM.

The application is available on the town website.

 

 

 

HIGHLAND LODGE UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP

Historic Highland Lodge now taking reservations as a year-round Bed & Breakfast!  Please like their page at https://www.facebook.com/highlandlodge/

Change is afoot at the venerable Highland Lodge, a landmark property in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Under new ownership, Highland Lodge is now welcoming guests as a year-round Bed & Breakfast that champions local craft foods and spirits, the arts community and the incomparable outdoor culture of the surrounding area.

Highland Lodge has been welcoming guests in search of the quintessential Vermont experience for generations. Perched on a hill above stunning Caspian Lake, the 136-acre property is the perfect basecamp for adventure in every season. Skiers are on the doorstep of the phenomenal Greensboro Nordic trail system and summer guests enjoy the lake from its private, sandy beachfront. Highland Lodge is also just a short distance from local attractions such as the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, Sterling College, Circus Smirkus, Highland Center for the Arts and Hill Farmstead Brewery.

David and Wilhelmina Smith, whose family has owned the lodge since the 1954, have sold the 136-acre property to Highland Lodge 2016, LLC, led by CEO and Event Curator, Heidi Lauren Duke. Ms. Duke will restore the lodge to a classic bed and breakfast inn, making some small changes that respect the lodge’s many traditions while bringing in some modern amenities.

The Smiths were determined to find the right people to fill their shoes before they handed over their beloved gem. “The lodge is so important to us that we had to wait for the right owner,” said the Smiths. “We found her in Heidi Lauren and her team, who have impressed us with their hard work and respect for our land and community. Heidi Lauren will bring the right kind of youthful energy to the place, which is just what it needs.”

Having directed and performed in projects at such venues as New York’s Cartier Mansion, France’s Avignon Opera House, and Washington’s Kennedy Center, Ms. Duke has been working closely with the Smiths during an intensive six-month transition period. “Thanks to their wonderful stewardship, Highland Lodge is a Vermont treasure,” said Ms. Duke. “I look forward to hearing more from loyal guests and the community about what they love most about the lodge as we work to make this the destination of choice in this gorgeous part of Vermont.”

In addition to Ms. Duke, the new owners of Highland comprise three Vermont families who treasure their visits to Highland Lodge and are committed to its long-term future. Together they exemplify the loyalty that the lodge engenders among its patrons. The owners include Peter and Ashley Milliken of Norwich, Vermont; Tim Briglin and Laurel Mackin of Thetford, Vermont; and James Bandler and Rebecca Holcombe of Norwich, Vermont. “Highland Lodge is one of Vermont’s treasures,” said Peter Milliken. “It is an honor for us to play a role in its next chapter.”

As she plans to welcome her first guests, Duke is also focused on making Highland a gathering place for locals. “Highland Lodge has a rich tradition of hosting community events,” said Duke. “I’m excited to build on that tradition by offering a place where for people look forward to coming, whether it be for a special celebration or a moment to catch up with friends.” Among her top priorities is the installation of a new bar and lounge area. The bar will feature locally-made beer and spirits and, together with a refurbished dining room, will be open to the public year-round for weddings, pop-up diners and special events. The Lodge is also resuming its full breakfast service to guests.

The sale of the Highland Lodge was partially financed with a loan from Community National Bank, working in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston. A majority women-owned company and a much-needed outlet for local produce and goods, Highland Lodge 2016, LLC was an excellent candidate for financing.

Highland Lodge 2016, LLC has also engaged Tim Piper of Inn Partners, Inc., to assist with business planning and help support its success in its first year.

“Inn Partners is very confident that Highland Lodge has all the components of a successful business venture,” Tim Piper says. “In an area currently lacking in quality lodging options, we have the right mix of a dedicated, intelligent and talented CEO, a strong investor group, and an iconic lodge located in a rapidly-growing tourist destination.”

The Fund for Greensboro – a letter from President John Stone

Dear fellow members:

We have recently updated our brochure for the Fund for Greensboro.  In 2016, with your generous support, The Greensboro Association awarded $14,100 toward community initiatives. The Fund for Greensboro is designed to be a permanent resource for Greensboro. By establishing the Fund, we will be in a position to accelerate the grants program and address important priorities.

The Greensboro Association is establishing the detailed operating structures for the Fund in preparation for an important commitment to grow the fund in 2017. With the support of our Advisory Board and committee members, we have already secured inaugural commitments to the Fund, putting us on a path to success toward our initial campaign goal of $2M within the next three years.

Your donations, small or large, will help us move mountains! Please consider making a bequest, setting up a charitable gift annuity, or naming the Fund for Greensboro as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement plan. In partnership with the Vermont Community Foundation, we will work with you to determine the most advantageous giving plan for your situation. This is an opportunity to help ensure the long-term health and vibrancy of our community and to protect Caspian Lake and the surrounding environment for generations to come.

Warm wishes for an enjoyable holiday season and I look forward to sharing our Winter Letter in February.

Sincerely,

John C. Stone III

Association President

 

Greensboro Arts Alliance & Residency Holiday Festival  

 

The Greensboro Arts Alliance & Residency’s annual Holiday Festival is fast approaching. A full schedule of events is planned for the week of December 10th to 17th, including the return of Dave Mallet in concert, a staged reading of Katherine Paterson’s Good King Wenceslas, and a Holiday Concert & Fundraiser at Lakeview Union Elementary School. Performance and ticket information is available here:

https://www.themirror.org

Craftsbury Outdoor Center Memberships  

Fall is the annual renewal season for membership at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. The Center continues to maintain the trails at the Highland Lodge, and Greensboro residents can ski for free on the Lodge’s trail system when it is open. Use of the Craftsbury Outdoor Center and its facilities, however, does require the purchase of a day pass or an annual membership. Membership offers a variety of benefits, including year-round use of the facilities (skiing, mountain biking, snow shoeing, rowing, and more), as well as classes and presentations. Visit https://www.craftsbury.com/general/about-us/membership/ for details and more information.

Highland Center for the Arts Update

Construction on the new theater at Tolman Corner is ongoing and the theater is scheduled to open in the spring of 2017.

The HCA programming committee is laying the groundwork for their anticipated year-round artistic and educational programming in the visual and performing arts including dance, music, theatre, circus arts, cinema, family programs, workshops, artist residencies, lectures, art exhibits and other mixed genre formats. The GA will pass along additional information on the Highland Center for the Arts programming as it becomes available.

Septic Maintenance Information  

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, a division of the Agency of Natural Resources, provides valuable information and resources for home owners about the maintenance and upgrading of septic systems. Greensboro does not have a municipal waste water treatment facility, and as such, all homes and businesses are individually responsible for the upkeep of their treatment systems.

For basic information on the state’s recommended guidelines for the construction, replacement, and maintenance of these systems, visit here:

https://dec.vermont.gov/sites/dec/files/wsm/lakes/Lakewise/docs/LP_BMPSepticSystemPrimer.pdf

In addition, the DEC provides a wealth of valuable information through its Lake Wise Vermont Lakeshore Management Program on best management practices to help lakefront property owners be good stewards of our Greensboro lakes. Visit the DEC website here for details:

https://dec.vermont.gov/watershed/lakes-ponds/lakeshores-lake-wise/bmp

 

 

Winter Parking Rules in Effect

A reminder that winter parking rules are in effect from November 1 to April 1.

Parking on Town Highway rights-of-way and in turnarounds is prohibited. Vehicles may be towed at the owner’s expense.
Overnight parking in public parking lots, around the Town Hall Building, or in front of Willey’s store is also prohibited. Vehicles may be towed at the owner’s expense.
Trees and brush in the Town Highway right-of-way that are deemed to pose a hazard by the Select Board or the Town Road Foreman may be removed.
Plowing snow across a Town Highway or depositing snow on a Town Highway is a violation of state law.

Keeping our roads safe and clear during the winter is a significant undertaking. Please observe these parking rules for both your and our road crew’s safety.

New Restaurant Opens in Hardwick

Hardwick has a new restaurant in the space formerly occupied by Claire’s, the Vermont Supper Club, and most recently, The Vermont Place.  Havana802 features home-cooked Cuban cuisine available six days a week.  The restaurant had a soft opening over Columbus Day weekend and is now open for its regular hours, Tuesday through Thursday from 11:30 to 8 PM, and Friday through Sunday, 11:30 to 9 PM.  Havana802 is operated by John and Monica Montero and their children Kearstyn and Kaeden.

 

Highland Lodge Conserves 76 acres on Caspian Lake

David and Wilhelmina Smith, owners of the Highland Lodge, fulfilled a dream of many years by conserving, in perpetuity, their 76 acres west of Craftsbury Road and south of North Shore Road in Greensboro. At a ceremony in Highland Lodge, the Smiths met with Tracy Zschau, conservation director of the Vermont Land Trust (VLT), and Julie Curtin, VLT attorney, to sign a conservation easement agreement with the land trust. (see map)

The agreement provides that the Smiths and future owners of the Lodge will not develop the lakeside portion of the Lodge property. It excepts a half-acre parcel on the Caspian Lake shore that will provide beach rights to future Lodge owners and some of the adjoining camp owners, but restricts use of the remaining forest and wetland only for open space uses like forestry, agriculture, recreation and education. At the signing, David Smith said: “This conservation easement allows us to preserve our natural living environment for everyone to enjoy.”

The conservation easement was professionally appraised at $282,000, the bulk of which the Smiths donated as a charitable donation to the land trust. About one quarter of the value was provided by contributions from the Stony Point and Freeman Foundations, the Greensboro Land Trust (GLT), and the Town of Greensboro through the Greensboro Conservation Fund.

The property contains the Porter Brook Natural Area, where Greensboro residents have hiked in previous years, and which summer workshops for children have visited. Its interior path has also served as a snowshoe trail. The easement agreement does not guarantee future public access to the area, but it is hoped that future Lodge owners will want to maintain the trail and allow public access. The easement includes a 22-acre wetland protection zone, and riparian buffer zones along Porter Brook that will protect water quality and aquatic habitat.

The VLT representatives congratulated the Smiths on their dedication to conservation of a beautiful natural area, and Clive Gray, clerk of the Greensboro Conservation Commission and GLT chair, said the select board had instructed him to convey its gratitude to the Smiths.

“The Smiths have been excellent stewards of their property for many years,” said the VLT’s Tracy Zschau. “It is gratifying to join them in ensuring that these sensitive and scenic areas will be protected for the long term.”

The Hardwick Gazette: Kickstarter Campaign and Essay Contest End

Despite extensive publicity and the receipt of numerous promising essays, Ross Connelly ended the Kickstarter campaign and essay contest for the Hardwick Gazette on October 10.  At 127 years old, the paper is now in need of new energy and leadership.  Ross Connelly is its 8th publisher, and he is hopeful and motivated that he will find a new owner for this important community resource and a lynchpin for the continued sustainability of local democracy.  We hope that Mr. Connelly is able to find a new owner for the paper who is as committed to the value of community as he has been.